Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini will hope history repeats itself when he makes his Premier League debut against Newcastle United.
The Chilean replaced Roberto Mancini as City boss back in June, and he could hardly have asked for a better first competitive fixture if recent history is anything to go by.
City have not lost against Newcastle in the English top flight since September 2005 - when a Michael Owen goal handed the Tyneside club a 1-0 win at St James' Park.
Their chances of extending that record on Monday are also boosted by the fact that Newcastle head to the Etihad Stadium have never enjoyed victory on the ground.
For Pellegrini, the clash represents the first true test of his reign in charge of City, and he will be hoping to build on an encouraging pre-season that included victory in the Asia Trophy.
However, Newcastle are unlikely to give any quarter - although manager Alan Pardew's selection plans have been hampered by the club's early-season injury list.
Newcastle will be without new signing Loic Remy (calf), while Ryan Taylor (knee) has been ruled out for almost the entirety of the 2013-14 campaign.
And, while Jonas Gutierrez (calf) could return, an injury to Davide Santon (hip) means that Pardew is toying with the idea of handing 21-year-old left-back Paul Dummett a daunting debut.
"Davide has a problem and I think he's doubtful for the game," Pardew said. "I gave (Mark) Noble, (Alex) Oxlade-Chamberlain and (Jonjo) Shelvey debuts at 16 so I have no problem with age.
"In terms of where he (Dummett) is at and the pre-season he has had, he has put himself in real contention, but Man City away would be a tough call for him having not made his debut for us yet.
"You're either ready or you're not, and throwing into the deep end sometimes works. But up against him would be (Jesus) Navas, who in my opinion is probably the best signing of the summer. He's a little bit special.
"That's something we'll think about, but going forward, I'd expect him to make 10 first-team starts this season."
Even without considering his vastly deeper squad, by contrast Pellegrini has few injury worries ahead of City's opener.
Matija Nastasic is likely to be replaced by Joleon Lescott in defence having suffered an ankle injury but the 59-year-old has an otherwise fully-fit squad from which to choose.
That means that close-season arrivals Alvaro Negredo, Navas, Fernandinho and Stevan Jovetic could all be handed Premier League debuts.
|Coach: M. Pellegrini|
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